Securities Tax Forms

The IRS requires all U.S. payers and withholding agents, such as Wells Fargo Securities, to obtain certain IRS tax certification forms from all clients that receive a payment or earn income that could be reportable and subject to withholding. Without your proper tax forms, we are generally required to apply presumption rules and withhold taxes on reportable payments  at the highest rate set by law.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you are certifying your tax residency outside the U.S., the Forms W-8 listed below are what must be provided to a U.S. payer or withholding agent. You cannot provide a “self-certification form” that is permissible in other countries for similar due diligence requirements. 

See the table below for the exact forms and supporting documentation we must receive from you. 

For more information, call us at 1-800-645-3751 or email us at wfscustomerservice@wellsfargo.com.

Download the forms that apply to you or your organization. See our Forms Help and Requirements or FAQs for help completing your form.

Entity Category Forms and instructions Documentation required with form
Individual or resident alien U.S. individual W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None
Corporation U.S. corporation W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None
LLC or disregarded entity U.S entity W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
See page 4 of the W-9 form
Partnership U.S. partnership W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None
Simple trust U.S. simple trust W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
See page 4 of the W-9 form
Grantor trust U.S. grantor trust W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
See page 4 of the W-9 form
Complex trust U.S. complex trust W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
See page 4 of the W-9 form
Estate U.S. estate W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None
Government U.S. federal, state and municipalities W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None
International organization U.S. organizations W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None
Tax-exempt organization U.S. tax-exempt organizations W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None
Private foundation U.S. private foundation W-9 form (PDF)
W-9 instructions (PDF)
None

Download the forms that apply to you or your organization. See our Forms Help and Requirements or FAQs for help completing your form.

Tax Form Description Form and Instructions
Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities) W-8BEN-E (PDF)
W-8BEN-E Instructions (PDF)
Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals) W-8BEN (PDF)
W-8BEN Instructions (PDF)
Certificate of Foreign Person's Claim That Income Is Effectively Connected With the Conduct of a Trade or Business in the United States W-8ECI (PDF)
W-8ECI Instructions (PDF)
Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Foreign Flow-Through Entity, or Certain U.S. Branches for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting W-8IMY (PDF)
W-8IMY Instructions (PDF)
Certificate of Foreign Government or Other Foreign Organization for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting W-8EXP (PDF)
W-8EXP Instructions (PDF)

Instructions for the IRS Form W-8 and IRS Form W-9 can be complicated. The following information highlights our due diligence requirements and key aspects of these forms. The discussion is not intended to address every potential situation, and you should always consult with your tax advisor about how to complete the information. In addition to the form instructions, IRS Publication 515 is a very useful guide for foreign customers required to provide a Form W-8.

Remember, we are required to withhold the maximum tax rate on payments if we do not have your proper tax forms. Effective on January 1, 2015, when the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) took effect for US withholding agents, additional certifications are required to avoid 30% FATCA withholding on any U.S. sourced fixed, determinable, annual and periodic (“FDAP”) income.

  • Non-U.S. entity clients must provide one of the following types of IRS Form W-8: W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, W-8EXP, or W-8IMY to certify their foreign tax residency and status. The current version of the form must be provided, and all of these forms were revised in 2014. Providing a valid Form W-8 prevents excess withholding on U.S. sourced fixed, determinable, annual and periodic (“FDAP”) income, such as dividends, interest, fees and other types of income.
  • Non-U.S. individual clients that are the beneficial owner of U.S. sourced FDAP income must provide a Form W-8BEN (Rev. February 2014). When acting in the capacity of a nominee, custodian or trustee, the correct form is IRS Form W-8IMY (generally along with other documentation, as explained below).
  • U.S. entities and U.S. citizens or resident alien clients must provide an IRS Form W-9 that (as of July 1, 2015) was revised by the IRS in December 2014. Entities that fail to provide a Form W-9 will be presumed to be a “Non-Participating Foreign Financial Institution” subject to 30% FATCA withholding. For individuals, the long-standing rule will apply that an individual who fails to provide a Form W-9 is an undocumented U.S. taxpayer subject to 28% backup withholding on payments or income reportable on a Form 1099.

Processing the forms

After we receive your tax form, we will review it for accuracy and completeness and conduct our due diligence. We may be required to obtain additional documentation based on the information provided on the original form. Then we can implement the correct treaty or other special rates and conditions.

Completing the forms

The following requirements apply if you are not a U.S. citizen. You must provide the information described below for us to process your forms.

Foreign individuals

W-8BEN W-8ECI W-8EXP W-8IMY
  • Lines 1, 2, 3, and 8 must be completed. If any of those lines are incomplete, a new form is required with those lines completed. If the information on these lines is inconsistent with other account documentation or systems information, additional documentation will be required.
  • If your mailing address contains a U.S. address, you must provide a copy of your current passport or other type of foreign government issued document that confirms your foreign tax residency status. In addition, you must provide a letter of explanation as to why you are using a U.S. address.
  • If your permanent or mailing address is different from the treaty country listed in Part II, you will be required to provide additional documentation or a statement supporting your claim of residency in the treaty country.
  • If you are the single member owner of a limited liability company that is disregarded, you complete the Form W-8BEN based on your individual status, and put the disregarded entity name in Line 3. We are required to report the income to the single member owner on IRS Form 1042-S and not to the disregarded entity.
  • The form must be signed and dated. The “Capacity in which acting” line may be left blank if you are the beneficial owner of the income. If you are signing on behalf of the beneficial owner, please provide documents supporting your capacity (for example, a power of attorney document that specifically allows you to sign the certifications under penalties of perjury or an IRS Form 2848 in lieu of the POA document).
  • Part II; To make a valid treaty claim, Part II must be completed. Failure to complete Part II does not make the form invalid in terms of certifying your foreign tax residency, but you will not be provided any treaty rate benefits.
  • Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 11 must be completed by entities. Individuals must also complete Line 10.
  • In order to receive exemption from withholding on your income effectively connected with a trade or business in the U.S., this form must include a mailing address in the U.S., a U.S. taxpayer ID number (e.g., either an EIN or SSN), and list the specific type of income for which you are claiming the exemption (for example, interest on debt obligations, bank deposit interest, dividend distributions, royalty income, syndicated loan payment or description of each type of fee). A general description such as “FDAP income” will be rejected.
  • The form must be signed and dated, and the capacity box” must be checked. See the comments to the right for the Form W-8BEN if you are an “Attorney-in-Fact” signing on behalf of the beneficial owner.
N/A
If you are acting as a custodian, nominee or agent and receiving the payment or income on behalf of the beneficial owner of that income, you must provide a Form W-8IMY based on your capacity as an intermediary, plus copies of the currently valid tax certification documentation for the beneficial owner(s) and a withholding statement that allocates 100% of each type of income (or “all income” if it is the same percentage) to the beneficial owners.

Foreign non-individuals

W-8BENE W-8ECI W-8EXP W-8IMY
  • This form is completed by entities that are the beneficial owner of the income, such as corporations, complex trusts and foreign estates. Most other entities complete this form only if they are eligible to make a treaty claim based on their tax status in their foreign country and specific treaty provisions. You must still provide the applicable type of Form W-8 (for example, the Form W-8IMY for a foreign partnership or foreign trust, along with the other documentation mentioned under the Form W-8IMY requirements) in addition to providing a Form W-8BEN-E solely to make a treaty claim because we must confirm your FATCA compliant status since FATCA withholding would override any treaty claim.
  • Part I: Lines 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 must be completed by every entity. If any of those lines are incomplete, you must provide a new form with those lines completed. If the information is inconsistent with other account documentation or systems information, you will be required to provide additional documentation to reconcile the difference.
  • Line 5 – Chapter 4 (FATCA status) is new and required for any new account opened on or after January 1, 2015. Since this status is based on your specific business activities, as well as how you are defined under the FATCA regulations or IGA definitions, you must consult with your tax advisor about which box to check. If you are an entity that must register with the IRS and obtain a GIIN, that number must be provided in Line 9a. WARNING: See the IRS instructions for this form about the correct box to check if you are a FFI that is registered with the IRS as a RDCFFI and you are located in a Model 1 IGA country or you are a FFI that is registered with the IRS as a PFFI and you are located in a Model 2 IGA country.
  • Wells Fargo must obtain copies of your articles of incorporation, a certificate of incorporation, or other type of organizational document confirming the entity is organized outside the U.S. and consistent with the information provided on the form, if any of the following situations occur:
    • If line 2 (Country of Incorporation) is different than the country listed on line 6.
    • If you provide a U.S. mailing address, or such an address exists in any account documentation or system information.
    • If the treaty country listed in Part II is different from your permanent residence address or mailing address, you must provide additional documentation or a letter of explanation confirming you have the required tax residency in the treaty country.
  • Part II: If the account is opened by a branch or disregarded entity of a FFI named in Part I, and that branch or disregarded entity is located in a different country from the FFI listed in Part I, then you must complete Part II.
  • Part III; To make a valid treaty claim, all of the applicable boxes in Part III must be checked and completed. Failure to complete Part III does not make the form invalid in terms of certifying your foreign tax residency, but you will not be provided any treaty rate benefits.
  • Parts IV through XXVIII and XXX: Based on the type of FATCA status box checked on Line 5, you may be required to complete one of these parts. Failure to do so will result in the form being invalid.
  • Part XXIX: The form must be signed, dated, and the signer must check the capacity box. Failure to sign the document and check the capacity box, or modifying or limiting the certification statements will result in the form being rejected.
Same requirements as stated above.
  • This form is completed by entities that, based on various U.S. federal tax statutes, are exempt from Chapter 3 withholding because of their special status. They are exempt from Chapter 4/FATCA withholding if they validate their FATCA compliance on this form.
  • Part I: Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 must be completed by all entities.
  • Wells Fargo must obtain copies of your articles of incorporation, a certificate of incorporation, or other type of organizational document confirming the entity is organized outside the U.S. and consistent with the information provided on the form, if any of the following situations occur:
    • If line 2 (Country of Incorporation) is different than the country listed on line 6.
    • If you provide a U.S. mailing address, or such an address exists in any account documentation or system information.
  • Line 4 – Chapter 4 (FATCA status) is new and required for any new account opened on or after January 1, 2015. Since this status is based on your specific business activities, as well as how you are defined under the FATCA regulations or IGA definitions, you must consult with your tax advisor about which box to check. If you are an entity that must register with the IRS and obtain a GIIN, that number must be provided in Line 8a. WARNING: See the IRS instructions for this form about the correct box to check if you are a FFI that is registered with the IRS as a RDCFFI and you are located in a Model 1 IGA country or you are a FFI that is registered with the IRS as a PFFI and you are located in a Model 2 IGA country.
  • Part II – additional Chapter 3 status certifications: Foreign tax exempt organizations, foreign private foundations and governments of a U.S. possession must complete the applicable line in this part. If a U.S. tax counsel opinion letter regarding your tax-exempt status is being provided, it must be included with the form.
  • Part III – additional Chapter 4 status certifications: Based on the box checked in Line 4, the applicable line in Part III must be completed.
  • Part IV: The form must be signed, dated, and the signer must check the capacity box. Failure to sign the document and check the capacity box, or modifying or limiting the certification statements will result in the form being rejected.
  • This form is completed by entities or persons acting as either an intermediary or flow-through entity that is accepting a payment on behalf of the beneficial owner of the income. The IRS expects non-withholding foreign trusts and non-withholding foreign partnerships to provide copies of the tax certification documentation for each grantor, beneficiary or partner, because the withholding agent is required to review that documentation and confirm it is valid so that the Form 1042-S reporting to each of those beneficial owners is accurate.
  • IN ADDITION TO THIS FORM, YOU WILL ALMOST ALWAYS BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A WITHHOLDING STATEMENT AND COPIES OF THE CURRENTLY VALID TAX CERTIFICATION DOCUMENTATION OF THE UNDERLYING BENEFICIAL OWNERS. THESE DOCUMENTS ARE CONSIDERED AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE FORM W-8IMY. SOME EXCEPTIONS APPLY – SEE THE IRS INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS FORM. SEE THE SAMPLE WITHHOLDING STATEMENTS BELOW.
  • Part I: Lines 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6must be completed by all entities.
  • Wells Fargo must obtain copies of your articles of incorporation, a certificate of incorporation, or other type of organizational document confirming the entity is organized outside the U.S. and consistent with the information provided on the form, if any of the following situations occur:
    • If line 2 (Country of Incorporation) is different than the country listed on line 6.
    • If you provide a U.S. mailing address, or such an address exists in any account documentation or system information.
  • Line 5 – Chapter 4 (FATCA status) is new and required for any new account opened on or after January 1, 2015. Since this status is based on your specific business activities, as well as how you are defined under the FATCA regulations or IGA definitions, you must consult with your tax advisor about which box to check. If you are an entity that must register with the IRS and obtain a GIIN, that number must be provided in Line 9. WARNING: See the IRS instructions for this form about the correct box to check if you are a FFI that is registered with the IRS as a RDCFFI and you are located in a Model 1 IGA country or you are a FFI that is registered with the IRS as a PFFI and you are located in a Model 2 IGA country.
  • Part I – Line 8: The applicable type of U.S. issued TIN must be provided by certain entities, such as qualified intermediaries, withholding foreign partnerships and withholding foreign trusts.
  • Part II: If the account is opened by a branch or disregarded entity of a FFI named in Part I, and that branch or disregarded entity is located in a different country from the FFI listed in Part I, then you must complete Part II.
  • Parts III through VIII: Based on the type of Chapter 3 status box checked in Line 4, one of these parts must be completed.
  • Parts IX through XXVII: Based on the type of Chapter 4 status box checked in Line 5, one of these parts must be completed.
  • Part XXVIII: The W-8IMY form must be signed and dated. Failure to sign the document, or modifying or limiting the certification statements will result in the form being rejected.
  • NOTE: While the Form W-8IMY itself has an indefinite validity period (assuming there is no change in circumstances from what is provided on the form), the underlying tax certification documentation for the underlying beneficial owners does not have an indefinite validity period.

Withholding Statements

List of required elements to be provided by intermediaries and flow-through entities:

Withholding Statement Requirements for a NQI, NWP or NWT

The withholding statement provided by these entities must contain the information shown below about each beneficial owner, and it must be consistent with the copies of the tax certification documentation that are provided. Any portion of the payments being received by these entities that is not allocated to the beneficial owner(s) will generally be subject to 30% FATCA withholding.

Percentage of account income owned by each Beneficial Owner (If same percentage applies to all income types (e.g., interest and dividends) that must be stated. If different percentage applies by type of income or security that must be identified.)

Description
Detail
Name of the Beneficial Owner
Chapter 4 Status – Payee Type
Type of tax certification documentation (e.g., W-8BEN, W-9)
Chapter 3 Status – Entity Type or Individual
Beneficial Owner’s tax status if a U.S. person: U.S. exempt recipient not subject to Form 1099 reporting; or U.S. non-exempt recipient subject to Form 1099 reporting.
Percentage of Ownership of Income (If the same percentage of ownership of the account income applies to all income types (e.g., interest, dividends, etc.) that must be indicated. Otherwise, details for each security in the account must be provided.)
Address of the Beneficial Owner (if a U.S. address is provided, additional documentation is required)
Chapter 4 withholding rate (must be either 30% or 0%)
Tax Residency Country of the Beneficial Owner
Chapter 3 withholding rate (30%, Treaty Rate or 0%)
U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (if applicable – such as when the beneficial owner has made a treaty claim that requires providing a U.S. or Foreign TIN)
Chapter 3 Exemption Code (If the Chapter 3 rate is 0%, go to this link to determine the appropriate exemption code: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1042s.pdf)
Foreign (Non-U.S.) Taxpayer Identification Number (if applicable)
If a treaty claim is made for an entity, you must confirm that the limitation of benefits certification made on Line 14b of the Form W-8BEN-E is valid.
Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN, if the beneficial owner is an entity is a type of FFI required to register with the IRS and obtain this number)
If the beneficial owner is an individual, either the Date of Birth or that person’s non-U.S. TIN must be provided so that the Form 1042-S reporting is correct.

Withholding Statement Requirements for a QI

The withholding statement provided by these entities must contain the following pool information – omitting pools that are not applicable:

Account Number(s) for which the entity is acting as a QI Allocation of 100% of the income among the pools shown below. If the allocation differs by income type or security, a separate statement is needed for each one.
Pools Subject to FATCA/IRC Chapter 4 Withholding (as applicable):
  • Recalcitrant Pool – No U.S. Indicia
  • Recalcitrant Pool – U.S. Indicia
  • Recalcitrant Pool – Dormant/Escrow Accounts
  • Recalcitrant Pool – U.S. Persons
  • Recalcitrant Pool – Passive NFFEs
  • QI-Recalcitrant Pool – General
  • NPFFI Pool
Pools Not Subject to FATCA Withholding:
  • Foreign Payee Pools:
    • 30% Chapter 3 Withholding Rate Pool
    • 0% Chapter 3 Withholding Rate Pool
    • Applicable Treaty Rate Chapter 3 Withholding Pools (e.g., 15%, 10%, etc.)
  • US Payee Pools:
    • Chapter 4 Withholding Rate Pool of US Payees (only permissible for QIs that are a type of PFFI or RDCFFI)
    • U.S. Non-Exempt Payees subject to Form 1099 Reporting but not 28% backup withholding
    • U.S. Non-Exempt Payees subject to Form 1099 reporting and 28% backup withholding
    • U.S. Exempt Payees not subject to Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding.

General information

Brokers are required to provide cost basis information on the IRS Form 1099-B only for certain “specified securities” that are acquired on or after these dates:
  • Stock issued by a corporation acquired by a taxpayer on or after January 1, 2011;
  • Stock issued by a regulated investment company (RIC) or through a qualified dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) eligible for the average cost basis election described in Reg. §1.1012(e) acquired by a taxpayer on or after January 1, 2012;
  • Any “less complex” debt obligation, or certain options (e.g., puts and calls on a specified security and certain index options such as IRC §1256 options) acquired by a taxpayer on or after January 1, 2014; and
  • Other debt instruments with “more complex features” acquired by a taxpayer on or after January 1, 2016.

Interests in a partnership are not included in any of the types of securities described above, so while the gross proceeds may be reportable on the Form 1099-B, the cost basis information must be obtained from the Schedule K-1 or directly from the partnership.

Elections – Debt Instruments : Pursuant to Reg. §1.6045-1(n)(5)(ii), any election by a customer that is different from the broker default must be made in writing (including electronically) to the broker, and it must be made by the end of the calendar year. An election made to the broker does not constitute a taxpayer election to the IRS. Customers must consult with their tax advisor about how to notify the IRS of an election. A customer who provides the broker with an election that does not correspond with the election made with the IRS will require the customer to make adjustments (e.g., on IRS Form 8949) when completing a tax return to reconcile the information. Brokers must report Form 1099 information based on the broker default or other customer election made to the broker in place as of year-end.

Accrual periods: Pursuant to Reg. §1.6045-1(n)(8), brokers must use the same accrual period that is used to report any OID or stated interest on a Form 1099. "In any other situation, a broker must use a semi-annual accrual period, or if a debt instrument provides for scheduled payments of principal or interest at regular intervals of less than six months over the entire term of the debt instrument, a broker must use an accrual period equal in length to this shorter interval." For transfer statements, however, the broker will need to provide the accrual amount that is applicable as of the date of transfer. This will require systems to calculate or receive from vendors accrual amounts on a daily basis.

Election Broker default Customer election Taxpayer revocation Applicable level Code, regulation, etc. Reference
Market discount – when recognized

Deferred to date of sale, redemption, maturity, or other disposition.

Therefore, the broker does not adjust the cost basis of the debt instrument on the Form 1099-B for the deferred amount of market discount. Instead, the broker reports the total accrued market discount amount in Box 1g and the taxpayer must complete a worksheet for IRS Form 8949 to determine what amount to recognize as income (if any) and what amount to recognize as gain.

Current inclusion as income.

If current recognition is elected, the broker will report the market discount on the Form 1099-INT for that year and increase the basis of the debt instrument.

Permitted with the consent of the IRS Commissioner. See Revenue Procedures 92-67 and 99-49 for current recognition election. All debt acquired during the taxable year of the election and thereafter. IRC §1278(b) However, when an issuer makes a partial principal payment at the same time there is accrued market discount or accrued OID, the investor must recognize the accrued market discount and OID first before applying the remaining amount as a partial return of principal. See IRC §1278(a)(3). Market discount is treated as interest income, but it is not treated as interest subject to backup withholding or NRA withholding [IRC §1278(b)(1)].
Market discount – computation method

For debt instruments acquired on or after 1/1/2015: Constant interest (a/k/a constant yield) rate.

This rate results in upward curve with lower amounts than straight line in the earlier years.

Calculation requires use of yield method similar to OID accrual calculations under IRC §1272(a), which are applied to the bond as if it had been originally issued on the date it was acquired by the taxpayer. The taxpayer's basis in the bond immediately after acquired is treated as the bond's issue price.

For debt instruments acquired in 2014: Ratable accrual (a/k/a, straight line): Total market discount at purchase / # of remaining days to maturity.

Ratable, because the constant interest method is the alternative method in IRC §1276(b)(2).
Election is irrevocable. See Revenue Procedures 92-67 and 99-49 for constant interest election. Instrument by instrument and it must be made for the earliest taxable year the debt instrument is owned (i.e., as of the date acquired). IRC §1276(b)(1) and (b)(2).
Bond premium amortization on taxable debt. Amortize, based on constant yield method:
Amount must be determined based on constant yield method described in Reg. §1.171-2(a)(3).
Do not amortize Permitted with the consent of the Commissioner. See Reg. §1.171-4, IRS Form 3113, IRC §446 and Rev. Proc. 2011-14 (Appendix 5.01) All taxable debt held during the year elected and thereafter. Any premium applicable to prior years must be set aside for possible loss recognition at a later date. IRC §171; Reg. §1.171-4 (generally); Reg. §1.1275-7T for TIPs and TIIs. There is no comparable election for tax-exempt debt instruments. Brokers must amortize bond premium and adjust basis accordingly on tax-exempt debt instruments. Bond premium on non-taxable debt instruments cannot be used to offset taxable interest income.
Acquisition premium - calculation method. Fixed fraction method:
Total acquisition premium / total remaining OID
Not really an "election." Regulations state the constant yield method is required if the customer has made the "treat all interest as OID election" discussed below. Not applicable Applies to all instruments subject to OID reporting. IRC §1272(a)(7); Reg. §1.1272-2(b)(3), (4) and (5); Reg. §1.6045-1(n)(7)(iii) Only applies to OID bonds when the purchase price exceeds the adjusted issue price. There is no election to defer recognition of acquisition premium and offset the OID pursuant to IRC §1272(a)(7)(A), so the broker must adjust the cost basis. However, brokers may elect to provide the acquisition premium amount as supplemental information with the Form 1099-OID or offset the OID income and report only the net amount on the Form 1099-OID. This is advisable since the reporting of acquisition premium and bond premium is only applicable to covered securities.
Treat all interest as OID No No. Brokers must ignore a customer notification of the all OID election. Permitted, with the consent of the Commissioner Instrument by instrument (taxable) and from the earliest taxable year owned (i.e., as of the date it is acquired). Reg. §1.1272-3 This election – which can only be made by the taxpayer and the broker is not allowed to apply for cost basis adjustments – incorporates all of the OID, market discount, bond premium, acquisition premium and interest payments (as applicable) into one OID amount and overrides any other taxpayer elections regarding calculation methods and deferred recognition.
Converting interest and expense payments to US Dollars Period average Spot rate on date of payment, credit or receipt Permitted, with the consent of the Commissioner All taxable debt held by the taxpayer in the year of election and thereafter. Reg. §1.988-2(b)(2)(iii)(B)

Why do I need to submit an IRS Form W-8 or W-9 to Wells Fargo?

The IRS requires us, as a U.S. payer or withholding agent, to obtain these tax forms for all of our clients. If we do not receive your proper forms, then we must withhold the maximum tax rate from reportable payments made to all accounts.

What do you use IRS Form W-8 and W-9 for?

We use these forms to identify your tax status and residency, plus identify our reporting and withholding requirements. For foreign clients, W-8 forms establish their foreign tax residency and treaty rate, if applicable. For U.S. entity and U.S. citizen and resident alien clients, the W-9 form certifies their tax residency status, and that the taxpayer ID number provided is correct and matches to the name provided on the first line of the Form W-9. The form may also be used to inform us as to whether or not an entity is subject to backup withholding or FATCA reporting if the account is maintained outside the U.S.

Please be aware that a U.S. citizen or resident alien remains a U.S. taxpayer, regardless of how long they have ceased to reside in the U.S., until that person has filed all the necessary documentation with the IRS, Department of State, or Office of Homeland Security, as applicable.

Can I fax or send you a copy of an IRS Form W-8 or W-9?

For all W-8 forms, you must send us the originals. We cannot process faxed or copied W-8 forms. You may fax W-9 forms to Wells Fargo.

Does one IRS form cover multiple accounts?

Yes. If you have multiple accounts under the same legal name, you may submit one W-8 or W-9 for all of those accounts, provided the ownership is the same for each account. You should inform us if you have multiple accounts for which you want to use the same tax certification form. However, keep in mind that foreign entities sometimes need to provide different types of the Form W-8 depending on the reason the account is opened (for example, for the benefit of the entity or for the benefit of its customers) and the type of income it is receiving.

Why are you requesting additional documentation after I have submitted an IRS Form W-8?

As part of our due diligence requirements, we must verify the Form W-8 is complete and has no conflicting information. For example, if an individual non-resident alien (NRA) customer shows a U.S. mailing address on a Form W-8BEN, that makes that form defective and creates the presumption the person is a resident alien. Therefore, if we have requested additional documentation and a letter of explanation from you, we are trying to cure a defect and need that additional documentation to confirm your tax residency status or correctly apply treaty benefits. Individuals normally need to provide a copy of their current passport or driver’s license along with a letter explaining why they are using a U.S. address or why their permanent tax residency country is different from the country listed in a treaty claim. For entities, the additional documentation required is normally a copy of that entity’s articles of incorporation or other organizational documentation citing it is organized outside the U.S.

Does the IRS Form W-8 or W-9 expire?

Generally, the W-8 form is valid for the year it is signed, plus three additional calendar years unless the information on the form changes during the three-year period. The W-9 form that is valid when we receive it is valid indefinitely, unless there is a name change or tax residency change.

What is your due diligence process for obtaining an expiring IRS Form W-8?

Before the end of the third calendar year in which the W-8 form expires, we will send non-U.S. clients a solicitation letter requesting that you complete and return to us a new W-8 form before the end of the third calendar year. This will ensure we do not withhold at the highest rate from your payments when you would be eligible for a lower rate or exemption from withholding because the previous certifications on your Form W-8 expired as of the beginning of the new calendar year.